Far East, China, Song-Jin Dynasty, ca. 12th - 13th century CE. An elegant purple-splashed Junyao stoneware "Bubble" bowl, of a rounded form raised on a neatly cut ring foot, adorned with an opaque bubble suffused turquoise glaze that thins to a natural mushroom hue at the rim with vibrant splashes of violet that feather to magenta on the interior and exterior. Straw ash used in the glaze was responsible for Jun ware's spectacular blue hue. Size: 5.25" W x 2.75" H (13.3 cm x 7 cm).
This type of pottery originated in the Jun kilns of Yuzhou City near Lunru County in Henan province during the Northern Song dynasty and continued to be created during the later Jin and Yuan dynasties. Song dynasty forms, however, are known to be more crisp with remarkably thin walls as we see in this example. Quite simply, a superb piece created by an exceptionally skilled artisan of the Song dynasty!
A similar example, though smaller by more than 2" in diameter, sold for HK $6,620,000 ($854,932) at Christie's Sale 2863 (June 1, 2011) Lot 3502. It had been previously sold at Sotheby's London 18 November 1998, lot 856.
We have had several people ask why the opening reserves and estimated prices are so low on items where we have shown comparable examples selling many times higher – such as several of the Chinese Song Dynasty vessels. Auctions are a strange phenomenon. We regularly see auction items that are estimated at one price be bid up to 30x the reserve because 2 people badly want the piece. It does not necessarily mean the item is worth that, it means 2 people were willing to pay more than the market value to acquire it. Additionally, the Bernheimer family has instructed us to price the estate at levels that will generate interest and ensure that most of the lots will sell. We believe we have set prices that are very attractive that should guarantee robust bidding. Bidders will have opportunities to obtain fabulous, museum-worthy pieces at prices that are extremely attractive.
Provenance: Ex-Paul and Louise Bernheimer, Cambridge, MA and Laguna Woods, CA, acquired before 1980.
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